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Cultural Representation and Appropriation Policy

SUMMARY

SHERPANI LLC commits to:

  • Internally promote awareness of cultural appropriation and why it is harmful.
  • Establish a process for identifying, reporting, addressing incidents of cultural awareness at SHERPANI LLC.
  • Address staff or contractors who exhibit patterns of harmful expression and/or a failure to follow reporting procedures through education, policy, canceling contracts and/or terminating employment. 

SHERPANI LLC expects employees and contractors to:

  • Educate themselves about cultural expression and cultural appropriation.
  • Follow SHERPANI LLC reporting procedures when they become aware of cultural appropriation. 
  • Follow SHERPANI LLC reporting procedures when others report to them cultural appropriation. 
  • Read and agree to these bullet points

DEFINITIONS

The definitions below are intended to build shared vocabulary around this work. 

  • Culture: a set of common beliefs that hold people together. These common beliefs give rise to social practices, and social practices are imbued with meaning.
  • Cultural Content:  Refers to the symbolic meaning, artistic dimension and cultural values that originate from or express cultural identities. (UNESCO)
  • Cultural Expressions:  Those expressions that result from the creativity of individuals, groups, and societies, and that have cultural content. (UNESCO)
  • Cultural Representation: Cultural representation refers to the way we use language, discourse, and images to produce meaning.

GOALS

This document has the following goals

  • To establish policy and process for addressing harmful cultural representation and appropriation

With the definitions above, we can assume that cultural appropriation may happen at SHERPANI LLC.

PROCESS

This policy relies on the following actions:

  1. Identifying potentially harmful expression(the responsibility of everyone)
  2. Reporting the concern(the responsibility employees, contractors)
  3. Assessing the situation(the responsibility of leadership)
  4. Acting(the responsibility of leadership)
  5. Following up (the responsibility of leadership)

Questions we ask ourselves to identify inappropriate cultural representation:

  • What cultural content is being presented and from what culture?
  • Who is presenting the cultural content and what is their connection to the culture being represented?
  • Who might be harmed by the way the cultural content is being presented and why?